"You did great, kiddo."
"I don't know....I just feel like my answers didn't come out too solid."
"Kat, you answered every question accurately and appropriately. You did good, sis."
"Thanks...I'm going upstairs now." I launched myself into bed, not even bothering to change my clothes. I just burrow under the covers and go out like a light.
I wake hesitantly, rolling over from my back onto one of my sides and nuzzle into the pillow. I'm unsure what time in the night it is, and even though I know it's still early, I just want to curl back up and sleep some more.
"Hey there, Sleeping Beauty."
I sit up, rubbing the sleep from my eyes. "Luke?" I ask, blushing slightly because my voice is groggy from sleep. Wait, why is he even in here? "Were you...watching me... sleep?"
"No...," he lets out a shaky laugh, "I was just...checking up on you? Everyone else left, like an hour ago. They didn't want to wake you, and I didn't want to leave you here all alone, so..."
"That's...thank you, that's really sweet." And exactly what I would have wanted, for someone to stay with me. I never would have asked that, though, never would have admitted that to anyone. "I wouldn't want to be a fun killer, though."
"You're not, though. I chose to stay, and perhaps we could use this time to get to know each other?"
I pat the bed, scooting over to make more room and smiling to myself. "Okay, but you first."
"Oh, I don't know, I'm so shy and all."
I throw my face into my hands, blushing fiercely into them. "I'm sorry! See, I knew it, I knew I'd said something wrong! I didn't mean---"
He lays a hand on my arm, "Kat, it's okay! I was kidding, sarcasm."
"Oh. Right. Haha. Um, yeah... I kind of tend to do that, take everything for their literal meaning, I mean. It's just, everything for the past couple years has been nothing but abuse and lies. Everything I thought I had was ripped out from under me. I'd put my trust in the wrong people, and paid for it."
"You don't have to talk about him. He's in the past. Trust me, I know all about bad pasts, but things will get better, I promise. We can just...focus...on the...future?"
"I appreciate that, but trusting is a big part of all my problems. I'd love to get to know you, Luke, but I'll never be interested in discussing my stepfather with you."
"Wait, your ex didn't abuse you?"
I shake my head, pulling my knees to my chest and hugging them close. "Gavin's always been there for me. We were best friends before we moved in with him, and I knew of his abuse. He took what would otherwise be given to his sister. I don't think Carla's even aware of what goes on. Gavin and I like it that way, even though she thinks Gav got kicked out over his use of drugs. She "chose" to move in with him, in reality, we would have gotten her out of that house either way. We tried moving in together, but our parents wouldn't let me. We thought maybe it was because we were dating, you know? But that wasn't our reason at all. At least I was able to save them, though, at least for a little bit. I took the abuse, painfully physical from their father, and verbal from both him and from my own mum...Gav would always be there before things with his father ever got internal. It never did get to actual rape, but he'd still touch me, made contact unbareble at times...Gavin made a lot of things easier, but things between us only got harder. I couldn't consider a real relationship. Not back then. Not until...cuz I mean, now..."
"Nothing!" I look away quickly, face on fire with a blush I hope my hot tears will hide.
"Until I met you..."
I mentally curse myself for almost saying that. Out loud. To his face! I don't even know why I'd even think something like that. I've been thinking them a lot lately, thinking about him. And just don't understand why my thoughts are always on him, how they could be considering this boy to be anything other than a stranger. I mean, he pretty much is a stranger! Besides, I can't afford to think about anyone in this way. They could never like me back. Especially not someone like Luke Hemmings. Nobody, especially not him, would ever want a broken, ugly girl such as myself. Nobody. I'm not even deserving of such random impulses...
I'm lured back to the present by a single touch. Luke's hand on my cheek, brushing at the tears staining my face. I'm lost in those blue eyes, staring into my green ones just as intensely, or more so, it seems. It felt like he could see right through me. And I didn't like that, having my flaws be out there so openly. For him, of all people, to be seeing. Still, I couldn't get myself to move. I was locked in place by his beautiful eyes and half smile. His lips and eyes twitch for a single second before he's slid to his feet and walked out the door without a word. Was it bad that it hurt when he did that? That I was wondering why he seems to always do that to me? And that I missed him? I miss him...
I shake off every invasive thought trolling my brain and get out of the bed. I take a shower, then go down to the kitchen. I pass Luke on my way there, an the couch watching T.V. "Hey, do you want something to eat? I was thinking of popping pizza rolls into the microwave, or something...?" He nods, but doesn't look away from his video game. I roll my eyes, stomping into the kitchen. I get the package out of the freezer and tear it open, pouring them into a pan and placing that into the microwave..
Don't turn around. Don't go in there. Ah, Kat, what the Hell are you doing? Take your own advice for once! I stand beside the couch, arms crossed. "You know, when a person asks to get to know you, the don't usually get up an walk away."
His jaw ticked, but nothing more. I threw my hands in the air, suddenly frustrated. I stalked off to the kitchen, hands gripping the counter. Head hung low, tears were falling again. I squeezed my eyes shut, but it didn't help. I was crying. Stomping footsteps came echoing behind me. "I'm sorry," I hurried to say before he could say a thing. If he even was going to say anything. "I just had a burst of anger. I don't know where that came from. Just...go back to ignoring me."
I heard shuffling, but not him leaving. Him coming closer. I stayed where I was, hoping he'd take the hint and leave me alone with my miserable self. Then I felt a body against my back. Arms wrap around me. Luke lays his head in my neck. I stiffen, confused, but my whole body shivers. I didn't trust myself to speak. I couldn't even get my mouth to move.
"I wasn't ignoring you. I don't trust myself around you, Katrina. I thought I had everything figured out. I don't need anyone but my three best friends. Those boys are all I have, but they're also all I needed. No girl was going to come before the band or my mates. I sworn girls and love off long ago. I didn't even believe in love."
"And this has what to do with me?" I still hadn't turned around, so he did for me, so we were face to face.
"Everything, Kat. Because you have me rethinking everything." He looks down, embarrassed maybe? Like he couldn't believe he was telling me the things he was. "Actually, I'm barely thinking at all when I'm around you. It's so hard to stop myself from doing the things to you I can't stop thinking about. Ever since I met you...Everything's just been, different. I'm thinking things I shouldn't be. Things I never have thought about before. I'm doing things I don't normally do. You make me feel things I never have before. And I don't know if I like that."
He'd stepped back a little. I stepped closer to him, took his face I my handed him look at me. "We feel things whether we want to or not. We just...can't help it."
We felt the way. That's what I got from this. I also got that he didn't care. That, just because his body felt things, wanted things, it didn't mean that his head did, that he did.
I backed away from him, turned back to my work.
"I know how you feel, Luke. But I also understand what you're saying." I slip the pan out of the microwave, making the horrendous sound of beeping from the timer stop. "Thank you, for telling me...I'm glad we cleared th---"
He turned me around fast, pulling me to him. I didn't really know what was happening, just that his lips were suddenly on mine, my back pressed against the counter. I pushed myself up, wrapping my legs around him, pulling us closer.
When the kiss stopped, a long while after it started, I slipped off the counter. We were both smiling, but also thinking the same thing. That this wouldn't be happening again. We can't do this. Neither of us could afford it.